The Poppy and the eleventh hour


The guns still blazed as I sat in my hole, scared of the chaotic world around me. The mud would rain down up on me, covering both myself and my uniform with brown sludge, only to be washed away by a falling tear. I looked up through tear filled eyes and saw out of the world of brown & black, a speck of bright colour. Wiping my eyes I see that it is a poppy, red as life’s blood that spilled from the dead and the dying. I am alone, my friends & brothers taken away from me with the orange streaks of bullet’s from a machine gun & by the explosion of earth and bodies as the shell hit. I look upon the flower and the flower looks upon me and I hear a voice, deep and powerful, as though the Lord Himself was speaking to me.

‘Remember the foolish selfishness of man. Remember the cost of his stupidity. Remember this day. Remember and learn.’

As the voice fell silent, the world too fell silent. The boom of the guns, the ratta-tat-tat of the machine gun, the crack of the riffle, the scream of men and the roar of the tank fell from the world. I poke my head above the cover of my mud filled hole and look upon the land of death. I look at my watch and see the eleventh hour.